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Blackberry Picking – Seamus Heaney Analysis Essay

Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet who was born in Mossbawn farmhouse and spent 14 old ages of his childhood at that place. Many of his verse forms are based on personal experience ; ‘Mid-term Break’ . for illustration. was based on the decease of his younger brother ; and are laid out in scenes kindred to those he is familiar to. His verse form. ‘Blackberry Picking’ . is set on a farm and explores the simple luxury of picking fresh. mature blackberries. his inspiration rather perchance being his ain childhood. Thematically. the verse form explores the idealistic nature of childhood. and the importance of waking up to world as one grows older. The beginning of the verse form is filled with a graphic passionate remembrance of the seasonal picking of blueberries. The clip is late August. and in perfect harvest conditions of ‘heavy rain and Sun. the blackberries would ripen’ . The idealistic positions of childhood are brought out in the description of the berries. conveying a sense of close flawlessness. ‘At foremost. merely one. a calendered purple coagulum. .

You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet’ . The memory of the blueberries is so graphic that Heaney recounts the ‘stains’ left upon the lingua and even the ‘lust’ felt for picking. There is a deep sense of indulgence conveyed in this first portion of the verse form. particularly through the usage of the word ‘lust’ . which would otherwise non usually be used in depicting the feelings of kids. This passion for something every bit guiltless as blueberry picking is something that can come merely in childhood. As the verse form progresses. Heaney switches from demoing a joyous. childlike remembrance to a more pensive. hankering tone of an grownup whose younger yearss have passed. He conveys in this portion the despair to keep on to something good. ‘We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre’ . and how keeping on is ne’er to any help. as these ‘berries’ perchance used as a metaphor for anything that is about excessively good. disintegrate if held on to for excessively long.

This is when a sense of world is puting in. and the poet is coming to footings with the fact that nil can last everlastingly. making a blunt contrast with the infantile belief that good things ne’er pass. The line. ‘I ever felt like shouting. It wasn’t fair’ ties up both. the infantile reaction of shouting when hit by the realization that something good will non last. and the grownup surrender to the fact that although it is ne’er just. such is life. On a more inexplicit note. the poem trades with the subject of greed and the dissatisfaction frequently involved in trying to derive an object of desire. The effort to get great sums of this object by taking it from its natural scene and ‘hoarding’ it leads to its devastation and to the hoarder’s letdown. However. it is besides implied that lessons on greed are rarely learned. ‘Each twelvemonth I hoped they’d support. knew they would non. ’ Even with the cognition that his attempts would be in vain. Heaney writes about how he was compelled to seek and hive away the blackberries each twelvemonth. therefore conveying out a recurrent greed for the same object.

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The construction and linguistic communication of the verse form aid the reader in better apprehension and linking with it. The first portion is simply a remembrance that provides information ; what clip of the twelvemonth it is. how the blackberries were collected. There is a batch of enjambement here. and this allows for a free flow of ideas for the poet. every bit good as a better degree of connexion for the reader. This flow better creates the feelings and emotions of the verse form. and allows the thoughts in each line to flux into each other and make one seamless image. The first stanza is peppered with adjectives rather liberally. which about recreates the spliting sugariness of the blackberries on the lingua of the poet. The description of summer’s blood in the berries. and the lecherousness for picking them conveys an highly passionate feeling towards these fruits. a blood lecherousness. The kids. ‘scratched by briars’ . are willing to endure to derive ownership of these sweet fleshed berries. In contrast. the 2nd stanza contains lesser enjambement. and this restricts the flow of ideas and thoughts.

The realization that the berries have decayed bases in blunt contrast to the joy felt when picking and eating the berries on the Fieldss. This realization is about arrhythmic. and comes in jets. unlike the uninterrupted sugariness of the berries in the old stanza. There are voluminous sums of imagination throughout the verse form. and this helps make clear. graphic images in the mind’s oculus of the reader. The polish of the berries and the different colorss are bantam inside informations that one normally wouldn’t remember ; this graphic remembrance hence establishes clear images for the readers. ‘Sent us out with milk tins. pea Sns. jam pots’ ; this line creates a image of kids processing through the Fieldss with merely about any signifier of storage they could acquire their custodies on in order to roll up their darling blackberries. The childs go ‘Round meadows. corn fields and murphy drills’ .

This listing of different topographic points recreates a mental image of the farm that Heaney describes ; a topographic point that is perchance close to his bosom because it is where he grew up. Besides the ocular imagination of the first stanza. audile imagination is besides present in the line. ‘Until the tinkling underside had been covered’ . This makes the reader subconsciously animate the clinking sounds of the difficult berries hitting the canned surfaces of the milk tins. pea Sns and jam pots. which in bends make the verse form even more touchable and graphic. Although there is merely approximately every bit much imagination in the 2nd stanza as there was in the first. these images are unpleasant and dull. As opposed to the colorful descriptions given antecedently. the description of the hoarded berries as holding a ‘rat-grey fungus ( and a ) stinking juice’ puts forth unwanted images of the antecedently iniquitous and sweet berries. Where the berries in the old stanza boasted of succulent colorss. they are now covered by a dull ‘grey’ fungus.

This contrast in imagination tallies parallel with the contrasting subjects of childly passion and the grownup realization that nil stopping points. While the first stanza is colorful. bright and indulgent like the ideals of childhood. the 2nd stanza is filled with more realistic imagination of spoil and decay that follows any over-indulgence. which is something that kids. on going grownups. are pushed to gain. The tone of the verse form is joyous and passionate in the first stanza. The joy. nevertheless. is less to make with the feeding of berries. which is mentioned merely one time ‘You Ate that first one and its flesh was sweet’ . than the picking of the same. which is mentioned multiple times. This conveys the childlike felicity felt in non merely eating the blackberries. but besides in the procedure of running through the Fieldss and picking them. which about seems like a ritual that happened every twelvemonth. As opposed to the happy tone established in the first stanza. the tone of the 2nd is despairing and resigned.

Filled with an grownup position. there is a demand to keep on to the sugariness of the berries. the profusion of which is now dampened by the thought of the fungus organizing on them. ‘It wasn’t fair’ . this line conveys the surrender felt by all of us. and echoed by Heaney- the feeling that something isn’t just accompanied by the realization that we still have to vacate ourselves to that fact because it isn’t traveling to alter. On the surface. the verse form ‘Blackberry Picking’ is about the simple joys found in small things like picking and eating blackberries. and the letdown felt when they rot and decay. Underneath the surface. the verse form explores the perfect ideals of childhood that are ruined by the mature realizations of maturity. It brings out the contrast between the two. and reminds the reader that nil perfect can last everlastingly ; merely another difficult world of life.


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